Friday, November 24, 2017

Simply Believe

"Oh, that my words were now written!
Oh, that they were printed in a book!"
--Job 19:23, KJV

The impassioned plea of Job to be heard, to be understood, and for his words to benefit generations to come is the heart of every writer. 

Job had no sense that this would happen as the art of "printing" was unknown, but he placed his hope in his Redeemer, and God was faithful.

Job's words, now published in the best-selling and most widely distributed book of all time, stand as an everlasting testimony of his hope and faith, and the faithfulness of our God.

Be encouraged.

Now it's your turn. What are you working on that you want to see in print one day?

I always welcome your comments.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Paper Chains  

O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good: because his mercy endureth forever."
—Psalm 118:1 KJV

As Thanksgiving approaches, our homes and activities begin to reflect past family traditions. We spread tables with old family recipes, decorate trees with heirloom ornaments, send long-distant relatives and friends sentimental greeting cards, and gather loved ones to watch It's a Wonderful Life and the immortal A Christmas Carol for the trillionth time. 

Who can forget that chilling visit to Scrooge from his dead business partner, Jacob Marley—his ghostly spirit bound with chains? Condemned to wander Earth weighted down due to his greedy and self-serving life, he’d returned with the hope he could spare Scrooge the same fate. 

“You are fettered," said Scrooge, trembling. "Tell me why?”

“I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the ghost. "I made it link by link and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” 

Life gets heavy. Sometimes the heaviness is a direct result of carrying chains we’ve forged for ourselves, while at other times we’re weighted down by circumstances beyond our control. Some people bear physical chains, while others struggle underneath mental and emotional ones. 

The Apostle Paul was unjustly imprisoned and held in iron chains, yet his spirit roamed free. He professed he was “in chains for Christ.” He chose to lighten life’s load by thanking God in his trials and focusing on his blessings. We can do the same. 

Perhaps a part of your family’s tradition has been to make paper chains in anticipation of a special event—summer vacation, a holiday, or someone’s birthday. As family members took turns tearing off links, you counted down the days till the celebration. If you’ve never participated in this meaningful activity, November would be an excellent time to start. But, instead of counting down—let’s count up. Let’s use the links of our chains to count our blessings daily as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones. 

To create a Thanksgiving chain, cut fall-colored strips of paper or use the web address provided to print out decorative strips for links. Cut the strips apart and ask family members to write each day something they’re thankful for. Then tape the links together. By Thanksgiving Day, you’ll have a festive decoration to hang near your table or to use as a table runner. Before your meal, pass around the chain and have each person read one of the blessing links. Continue to pass it around until all are read. Then with grateful hearts, thank God for the blessings he provides—blessings that connect his heart to ours and ours to the hearts of others. 

Now it's your turn. Share a holiday tradition your family enjoys? 

I always welcome your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving! Starr

(To access the chain printable, click the following link: For a more colorful chain, print images on both sides of the paper.)